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Boosting Social Good: Student-Led Microlearning

The pandemic has quickened the pace of digitalisation across the globe for businesses. Recognising the need for its community partners to acquire these new skills and knowledge in an agile and flexible way, SUSS UniLEARN, an e-learning initiative by the University and works with social service organisations, brought together the SUSS Online Learning (OLE) department with its e-learning expertise and the Office of Service-Learning & Community Engagement (OSLCE) to have their students co-develop microlearning courses. The marriage result: bite-sized courses that are easily consumed via a mobile device or tablet, while offering the flexibility of learning at one’s convenience.

So why have students develop these courses in the first place? 

Training students in the development of microlearning courses for social good would benefit both staff and students as the UniLEARN team could progressively scale up their efforts to meet the learning needs of the community, while the students are able to gain new skills to contribute to capability development in the social sector – a win-win outcome for all, indeed. 

Students attending a full day workshop to learn how to use the Gnowbe platform

To date, a total of 17 full-time students have completed the course OLE201: Designing for Microlearning – a pre-requisite before students can be deployed to support OLE to develop a course package for a community partner. The training equips students with knowledge of the microlearning framework and technical skills required to develop microlearning courses.

The collaboration has been well received by staff from both OLE and community partner organisations. “Due to the timeframe of the project, the commitment of students is crucial in ensuring the successful completion of the course development work. Students have performed well in terms of project delivery, stakeholder management and producing quality work,” shared Mr Chow Siew Hoong, Senior Learning & Development Specialist, who is the trainer for OLE201 as well as the mentor supervising and providing guidance to students involved in the microlearning community engagement initiative.

Feedback from community partners also echoes similar sentiments. Sim Yong, Learning Coach from Tsao Foundation, appreciates the small but practical innovations value-added by the students in the e-learning programme, saying, “Though the course content was provided by us, Linde and Jolee (SUSS students), improved the readability by making changes to the sentence structure. They also took the initiative to suggest and implement new ideas to improve the presentation of the course content on Gnowbe, a microlearning platform that allows anyone to author and access ready-made content.”

While the students may not be able to see the direct impact of their service on the community, they find value in the work that they do. “To me, serving behind the scenes is as valuable as serving the community on the ground. I’ll be indirectly impacting the wider community as the microlearning course enables the volunteers of the community partner to learn how to be more effective in their service,” enthused Pearlyn Ng, SUSS Year 3 Human Resource Management student who was involved in co-developing a microlearning course focused on onboarding and being an effective volunteer.

If you are interested to find out more about the microlearning initiative, visit this info page.
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